Dec 4, 2014

There Is A New Day Coming!

“Today it feels like winter”; I thought to myself as I surveyed the landscape just outside my window in St. Paul, Minnesota, trying to find sunshine on a very cloudy day.
We are still one month away from being officially in winter, but everything outside looked bleak, and dead, and void of life. The trees had lost all of their leaves and were standing naked and scrawny and vulnerable.  All of the fresh white snow that had fallen six days ago was now as gray as the sky above and hopeless of any possibility of ever being fresh again.
It is days like this that the reality sinks in that we are now on a LONG journey from autumn (through winter) with all of its deadness and regrets for what wasn’t accomplished and what we couldn’t do because we were too busy when we had the chance, until we reach spring four months away. It is a trip we may not to take, but is a matter of fact; not choice.
So we need to begin to hunker down and face this miserable season in Minnesota that at times feels as though God Himself has packed up and moved to warmer climates because of the weeks of cloudy days, average day time temperatures that only reach 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and snowfall accumulations that can reach six to eight feet!
And even though last night the weatherman had predicted that it would be warmer over the next two days, the reality is that the temperatures are plummeting towards the freezing mark and beyond as the calendar takes us closer to the dead of winter.
No, we are not fooled by his optimistic predictions! We Minnesotans know that January is only a month away where historically the temperatures have reached as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit; usually settling for about ten consecutive days of only minus 20 degrees.
My friends, we either all nuts or else there is something else that Minnesotans have discovered about living in this “god-forsaken place” we call home (as if a place could ever be forsaken of God!).
The truth is that most days of snowfall in St. Paul, Minnesota, amounts to less than an inch of fresh snow on the ground. Yes, we do experience snowstorms of over five inches a day which normally occur a couple times annually, but major blizzards that dump ten inches or more in one day don't happen every year.
Yes today it feels as though winter is here, but there is a hope that is awaiting those to whom will seek it.  
The fact is that even though old leaves are gone, they were pushed off by the new buds that contain the leaves that will brighten our days in the spring. Beyond this next season there waits a time of new life that rests just below the heavy snow loads and frigid temperatures.
I love how Eugene Peterson’s Message Version of the Bible translates Isaiah 43:18-19:
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”
The same God who is promising to make “rivers in the badlands” can bring warmth and sunshine and LIFE to this frozen tundra called Minnesota!
The same God who is doing something new wants to bring springtime to your current season of winter! Yes today it feels as though winter is here in our personal lives, but there is a hope that is awaiting those who will seek it. 
My friends; God is up to something new in our lives and the old just may have to go to make room for the new. And grasping this truth will make the difference between disappointment and “His”-appointment.
Because when God takes us through changes it’s easy to get disappointed when we can’t see what He is doing and too many people spend their lives stuck on what could have been as they fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of themselves or others for their lives. Disappointment becomes the new focus of their existence.
But the story isn’t over! God has greater thing that are growing beneath whatever you feel you are in! Above those gray clouds the sun is still shining!
Grasping this truth can change your perspective. It can give an opportunity for anticipation of what God might be up to, rather than disappointment for how things appear to have turned out.
Yes, today it feels as though winter is here, but there is a hope that is awaiting those who will seek it.  Where do you begin? Simply call on the name of Jesus and He will respond!
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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